The GreenFaith Committee adopted the following mission statement at its October 2013 meeting:
We, the members of Congregation Beth Israel of Media, believe that it is our duty to strive to make our world a better place for future generations of our own community as well as the community at large. Because we believe in these values, we commit to reducing the impact of our synagogue on the environment and educating our members on how to continue these practices in their own homes. Our belief that all individuals deserve to live in a safe, clean and sustainable world calls us to carry out this mission.
To continue reducing BI’s own environmental footprint, the committee reviewed alternatives to foam plates and cups. We will be taking several actions:
- Purchase paper plates instead of foam, which will increase annual costs by under $500.
- Encourage congregants to use paper napkins instead of plates when possible, and to use one plate at a time.
- For now, we’ll continue to purchase foam coffee cups. People are encouraged to bring their own non-disposable cups from home and use them instead.
The first GreenFaith meeting for the entire congregation was held on October 27, 2013 after the new member orientation. There was a mixture of Torah study and further explanation of the certification program. Professor Scott Gilbert presented a talk on GreenFaith at the Congregation Meeting on Sunday, December 15, 2013. For the complete report, click here.
Waste Reduction: Your waste will outlive you—plastic can take up to 600 years to break down in a landfill, and Styrofoam never breaks down. When planning parties and events, keep the environment in mind by using reusable dinnerware. Start small with reusable utensils, since they can be easily collected and washed, supplemented with recycled-content paper and/or biocompostable dinnerware (a selection is available at www.worldcentric.org). Eco-tip provided by GreenFaith (www.greenfaith.org).